Anne Jewell, teacher at Miss Martin’s School for Girls in Regency England, is twenty-nine, unmarried, and independent. She is also an unwed mother, and though she loves her son dearly, motherhood has come at great costs to her. Through her son’s father, she is related to the Bewcastle family, and holidays with them in Wales. There, she meets Sydnam Butler, disfigured hero of the Peninsular Wars, currently steward of the Bewcastle estate. The Bewcastle family is keen on matchmaking, but both Anne and Sydnam bear such terrible emotional and physical wounds from their pasts that happiness is no sure thing. Anne and Sydnam are sympathetically drawn, two adults who are doing their best to overcome personal trauma, and the obstacles that hinder their relationship are not contrived. The tragic stories of both protagonists lend an air of melancholy and weight to this romance, elevating it from standard Regency fare. Readers of Balogh’s Bedwyn series will recognize many familiar faces, but prior knowledge of those books is not necessary to appreciate this mature love story. This reader eagerly looks forward to the third Simply book. Recommended!